DnaA protein, the initiation factor for chromosomal DNA replication in Escherichia coli, is activated by binding to ATP. We earlier reported that 3- acetoxy-2,2'-bi-1H-indol inhibited the ATP binding to DnaA protein (Sasaki, S., Mizushima, T., Hashimoto, T., Maeda, M., and Sekimizu, K. (1994) Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 4, 1771-1774). In the present study, derivatives of 3- acetoxy-2,2'-bi-1H-indol with different lengths of aliphatic chains at the 3- O position were synthesized, and their potential to inhibit the ATP binding to DnaA protein was examined. Elongation of the aliphatic chain resulted in inhibition of the ATP binding to DnaA protein at lower concentrations. Among the derivatives, 3-[N-(11-carboxyundecyl)] carbamoylmethoxy-2,2'-bi-1H-indol (structure 7 (3-CUCM-BI)) exhibited the most potent inhibition with an IC50 value of 7 μM. The mode of the inhibition was competitive. We further demonstrated that structure 7 (3-CUCM-BI) inhibited DNA replication of the oriC plasmid in a system reconstituted from purified proteins. This inhibition was specific for the initiation of DNA replication rather than for the elongation. The inhibition was overcome by preincubation of DnaA protein with ATP. Furthermore, structure 7 (3-CUCM-BI) showed little inhibition on DNA synthesis in the ABC primosome system. We propose that structure 7 (3- CUCM-BI) functions in the in vitro oriC DNA replication by inhibiting the ATP binding to DnaA protein.
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